Updated: Apr 20, 2020
Today we had a chat with Cedric Paquet from Royal Belgian Caviar. One of the smaller top Caviar producers located in Belgium.
Hi Cedric, I hope you are doing well. Please tell us a little bit more about the story of the Caviar and your company.
Hi Jan, I am good, thank you. So first a little story about our company. We are one of the first sturgeon breeders in Europe with our own Sturgeons since 1990 and in 2002 we had our first Caviar in Belgium. So, it took us 12 years of research. The demand for Belgian Caviar has been growing ever since. Last year we had an annual production of 6 tons of Caviar. Which is great, but we are still one of the smallest Caviar producers in the world, and that is fine for us. We are not looking to be the biggest producer. For us it is all about the quality and we are trying to work slightly different than our competitors. We try to handle the full cycle in house. We now also produce our own sturgeon feed. It is a special diet for our sturgeons which results in a better quality of our Caviar. Also the quality of the water is extremely important. So actually we produce taylor made Caviar.
Most of the producers, they pack the Caviar in 1.8kg tins. Those tins are shipped to distributors, or re-packers of caviar, that then will re-pack the Caviar into smaller 50gram or 125gram tins. We don't do it that way. We pack our caviar directly into smaller tins that the distributors will ship to the clients and chefs. We do this so the eggs wouldn't be re-packed and therefore being bruised by others. That way we guarantee a better quality, a better product in the long run and it has a better shelf-life. So we try to make a difference and that is the story about Royal Belgian Caviar.
How many countries are you shipping to?
We export globally, to the USA, to Asia: South Korea, Singapore, Japan... Japan is very nice, since they are known to be very critical about natural flavors, pure taste. Japan is one of our biggest markets for our Caviar, as well as Europe. Belgium, of course, is one of our most important countries because of the local story. Switzerland, London, Denmark. The scandinavian market is big for us as well. So yes, we are exporting all over the world.
How are you still selling in those horrible covid19 days?
It is strange. I haven't been to the company since 4 weeks. But luckily, we still have our sturgeons that we need to feed and they need to be checked. So my colleagues, biologists, are still there. It is important that our animals receive the necessary feed and check-ups. And of course I have a good communication with my colleagues there.
But for the sales, it is quite difficult. We are using the time to communicate with the world. We are very active on Instagram and other social media. We are calling our clients to ask if everything is good. But there are still some sales going on. We have wholesalers in Belgium and globally that sell Caviar to people for home deliveries (private). So that is quite nice, but our strategy stays the same as before the Covid19 regulations. That is that we never sell directly to the private customers. We work with partners and we think it is very important for our longterm relationships with them. Those partners are the ones that believe in Royal Belgian Caviar. They import our product to their country and distribute it to their clients.
So, in general, sales have slown down, but we feel (or at least we hope) that in Asia sales will pick up in the short time, in a few weeks. So fingers crossed, I hope it will start again soon.
Are you still shipping to the US?
Well, we have a few partnerships in the USA. Our biggest partner is "Browne Trading Company". That is the company that you work with as well. But selling to the USA since Covid19 is very difficult. Also for the US Customs, it is quite difficult. So we prefer not to take any risks for the moment and to wait until everything is stabilized. After that we are back in business as usual.
Well, good luck Cedric. Thank you so much for this chat. As I told you a long time ago, I will be an ambassador for your Caviar as I personally know it is the best in the world. And I worked with many different Caviars before. Be safe out there.
Royal Belgian Caviar email@example.com +32 (0)14 47 27 10 www.royalbelgiancaviar.be/en Distributor: Browne Trading